South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust
How historic preservation affects and can benefit you as a property owner, town, or developer.
South Carolina has a rich history as far back as the 17th century. There is much to learn about our state, our nation, and our Patriots by visiting some of the many historic sites in the state. A quote in the Medal of Honor Museum states, “A Nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure.” We honor our heroes by preserving the military historic sites in South Carolina.
Though South Carolina was the scene of much activity in the Revolutionary War and Civil War, unfortunately many of our sites are now destroyed. In Charleston County alone, there were more than 200 fortification sites related to the Civil War. More than 65% of those sites have been destroyed – some lost to tidal erosion, some lost to farming, but most lost to commercial and residential development. What is even more distressing is that of the sites that survive, less than a third of them have permanent protection either through a conservation easement or through ownership by a public agency or qualified land trust.
Preserving our historic sites is simply put – the right thing to do. It preserves the stories of our history, it provides the opportunities for education about our past, and understanding our shared history instructs us about our future. The South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust has created partnerships with property owners, local governments, and developers to allow for growth and development, but in a manner that leaves us as good stewards for our land. There are many advantages to partnering with us in historic site preservation. Many developers and site planners work with the Battleground Trust early in the planning process to understand the historic assets and develop meaningful strategies for preservation that enhances the community.
• Still allows for the use of your property
• Does not necessarily open your property to the public
• Generates tax deductions
• Generates tax credits
• It’s an opportunity to take pride in the history of our state.
• May provide green space for parks and recreation
• Can generate revenue through heritage tourism, one of the largest segments of visitors who come to South Carolina.
• Historic site preservation can generate pride in your community
• Understanding and preserving historic sites on your property give you an authentic story to the land connecting potential buyers to the property.
• Granting easements and protecting the historic site footprints provide a meaningful way to generate green space in your site plan.
• A park consisting of a simple walking trail with interpretative signage about the historic resource can raise the value of homes near to the park.
• Thoughtful development demonstrates to the public and your future property owners that you are sensitive to the cultural and natural resources that deserve protection.
• Protecting your historic sites may serve as a helpful mitigation tool in your permitting process.
What is a conservation easement?
You can protect an historic military site on your property by granting a conservation easement to the Battleground Trust. This legally binding agreement allows the landowner to retain ownership and control, but you agree to eliminate some uses of the land that may result in damage to or destruction of the historic assets. You retain the right to use your property and to sell, lease or bequeath the property to your heirs.
What is the term of a conservation easement?
A conservation easement is perpetual. The terms of the easement will apply to any future owners of the property.
Are there tax benefits of granting a conservation easement?
Yes, there are significant tax incentives for donating a conservation easement. Further, an easement that is granted upon your death will significantly reduce any estate tax due. We encourage you to consult your legal and tax advisors before proceeding with the donation of a conservation easement.
By granting an easement to the Trust am I allowing public access to my property?
No. Unless intended by you, granting a conservation easement does not require public access.
You can preserve an important historic site by donating your property or the specific portion containing the historic assets to the Battleground Trust. This ownership transfer is a legally binding agreement that protects the property in perpetuity. You will inure significant tax benefits from such a donation.
How do I proceed?
The first step is to contact our staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling our office at 843-743-8281. We will set a meeting with you to discuss the process of granting an easement. We will also schedule a time to inspect the historic military site on your property with you.